Sunday, January 8, 2012

If LGBT People Did Not Choose To Be Gay, They Would Not Be Killed

In a rather bizarre piece published in the Tuscaloosa News, University of Alabama History professor Larry Clayton, attempts to assert that because gay rights are not human rights, there is no "right" to same-sex marriage. Normally, such an article would not be interesting, as such thinking has come to be expected by the anti-gay crowd. But this article goes further, for within it we see the undertones of an approval of the slaughtering of LGBT people by international governments. 

In this article, Dr. Clayton starts to discuss the recent statements by the Obama administration that are pro-LGBT, such as Clinton's statement that "gay rights are human rights" and the State Departments vigerous enforcement to protecting LGBT people from persecution. But then Dr. Clayton morphs his discussion into one about 'value' judgments, saying,
Legal rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness are already guaranteed to all, including the LGBT community. But moral judgments and values which clearly distinguish historically between sexual preferences are not legal rights.
What this has to do with the State Departments directives regarding gay and lesbian people I have no idea, but with a simple reading of his argument, it seems as though Dr. Clayton believes that based upon the fact that one is gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender one does not deserve human rights protections, because one already has "protections". for being human. According to Dr. Clayton, because homosexuality is a "sin", that automatically eliminates it from being a "right".

Then, instead of Dr. Clayton standing upon the side of human dignity and human life, he brushes aside the imprisonment and death that LGBT people around the globe are subjected to, saying, 
If you prefer to be a LGBT, that is your choice and you will continue to enjoy all the civil rights guaranteed by the Constitution. You may be stoned to death in Africa or parts of Asia whose level of tolerance for homosexuality is very low, but we live in a country where we defend our human rights....That Obama and Clinton want to world to follow this country's insistence that same sex marriages, and the LGBT community, enjoy the same protection under human rights legislation, such as liberty, freedom of expression, freedom of religion, etc., is a rather odd mixing of rights and preferences. (emphasis mine)
Within this statement, Dr. Clayton does the unthinkable. Instead of condemning the persecution and death sentences given to LGBT people by governments, he puts the blame upon those people who are being killed, because it is their fault that they have chosen to "prefer" to be gay. Because such a "preference" is considered "sinful" in the Judeo-Christian tradition (which is a claim that I would dispute heavily), there is no right to be LGBT. 

Though the entire article is worth reading - if you can stomach the lack of intellectual rigor and blatant disregard of logic and science - one sentance speaks volumes about Dr. Clayton's feelings about our community, for he says,  
There are few moral ambiguities for Christians, and certainly none with respect to homosexuality, which is, by definition, is a sexual preference, not a human right.
Thus, because ones immutable sexual orientation is a "sexual preference", one is not deemed to be protected because of it. And if you "choose" to be sexually attracted to other men or women, it is acceptable for a government to openly harass, imprison, and kill you. That is the ultimate end of Dr. Clayton's logic, and it is an end that I am thankful this nation does not embrace. 

1 comment:

  1. It's a poor indictment on American education that someone so patently ignorant can ascend to the level of being a university professor.

    Not to mention the complete lack of compassion.



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